Voodoo Six

First Hit For Free

Written by: TL on 07/11/2008 19:03:02

Reviewing for Rockfreaks.net has taught me about the inevitability of some facts; that life once in a while is going to catch up with me and perform a combo-breaker on my otherwise impressive stream of reviews, that bands coming out of nowhere only all too seldom manage to really surprise and impress you, and that if you can't do something that's both good and original, mostly doing something that's good and not quite original is better than the other way around. This leads me to Voodoo Six, a band that has indeed come out of nowhere, stirring no immediate interest in me whatsoever, and thus gathered dust on my desk for at least a good while before I ever got to listening to it, realising only then that maybe I should've just done myself a favour and popped it on straight away.

As my introduction might have also hinted, we're not dealing with the most original of bands. Voodoo Six play hard rock with nods towards the most important bands of the genre. Describing them as Audioslave with Axl Rose on vocals wouldn't be far off after listening to them, even if Voodoo Six's frontman is far from being as restricted in his nasal rock'n'roll delivery as Mr. GnR is, and sometimes you might also feel like flipping the comparison, thinking of Chris Cornell singing on top of guitar work by Slash or Joe Perry (of Aerosmith). Fans of Zeppelin and their imitators in Stone Rider can safely jump on board too, because the album "First Hit For Free" is the wet dream of any air-guitar hero.

For the vast majority of the album, the guitars churn out massively groovy riffs alá Audioslave/RATM while the vocals are constantly varied between clean, nasal, rugged and falsetto, all with proper rock'n'roll edge and attitude. The bass deserves a remark too, as it's always a pleasure to hear a bassist that goes above and beyond supporting the rhythm in the simplest way, and rather adds to the groove and adds his own mini solos here and there. Considering this and the song writing aptitude, I'm willing to almost forget about the drumming being a little "Lars Ulrich".

I haven't recommended any tracks yet, and while it's unusual for me, there's a reason, and that is that you might as well just get the album and pop it on, because everything on the first half of the album is equally awesome. Catchy riffage with just the right amount of nostalgic RnR feeling, great classic solos, catchy lyrics and constantly varying and interesting vocal work all make sure you should get your money's worth. If you're not convinced by my praise, I guess you could try "I Am The Sun" or "Saints & Sinners", and they should do the trick.

However, since I've mentioned the first half of the record separately, I must also mention the second, and the reason I didn't just include the whole thing in my former paragraph, is that after track seven, and especially on the last three songs, the quality of the writing seems to slip a little bit. The musicianship is still above par, no doubt, but songs like "Century" and closer "Slip Inside" just aren't quite AS instantly recognisable as the ones that came before them. Even in spite of this, and in spite of the careless worshiping of a style that seems to belong in the past, "First Hit For Free" comes highly recommended by me, seeing as this kind of rock'n'roll isn't a mill I mind running more water through, and facing that none of the bands that inspired Voodoo Six seem likely to release anything as good any time soon. Just go get this, if not for anything else, then just in case "Chinese Democracy" fails miserably and makes you weep for the past.


Download: No Friend Of Mine, I Am The Sun, Saints & Sinners
For The Fans Of: Audioslave, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin
Listen: myspace.com/voodoosix

Release Date 24.03.2008
Pinnacle Records

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